Virginia has spent almost $60 million in the past two weeks on prep and response for tropical storm Florence. That figure was delivered to lawmakers in Richmond Monday during a meeting of the House Appropriations Committee.
A week ago, Virginia was in the crosshairs of a Category 4 Hurricane. Governor Ralph Northam called for a mandatory evacuation in parts of Hampton Roads, and the state set up emergency shelters. Those shelters came with a more than $30 million price tag.
Still, Republican lawmaker Chris Jones, chairman of House Appropriations, had no criticism for that decision.
“Good news is we do have the cash reserve fund that we’ve established. And the Governor did what he thought was the right thing,” Jones commented during a presentation by Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne.
Layne says that many of those resources have now been shifted south, where the storm has had greater impact.
“I expect my counterparts in South Carolina and North Carolina are going to have this number of in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” Layne said.
Layne says he expects the federal government to reimburse about three-quarters of the costs associated with the storm. However those reimbursements can take years to process he added.
Virginia doesn’t set money aside specifically for weather-related emergencies. Layne suggested to lawmakers it might be a good time for the state to start budgeting for more events like Florence.